It is often a spur-of-the-moment decision that can become a turning point in life.
So it is for Kitty Morland, a young woman in London in 1878.
Cheated of her birthright and condemned to a soul-destroying existence, Kitty yields to temptation one fateful day and commits a desperate, perhaps criminal, act. Realisation of its possible terrifying consequences forces her to flee to the other side of the world, to Australia, taking her widowed mother, Bella, with her.
Fearful that her past will catch up with her she marries William, an English aristocrat, and moves from Sydney to Redwoods in Bulahdelah, a remote logging area in the mid north of New South Wales – a place of red-cedar forests, wild rivers, and the loneliness of an early settlement. Kitty needs all her courage and determination to survive a loveless marriage, dominated by a husband with a dark side to his character. She realises too late that the passion she feels for Rufe Cavanagh, a charismatic and entrepreneurial colonial, is reciprocated.
Kitty finally has a chance for love and happiness but, torn between love and duty, she must make a difficult decision that will affect the lives of others. How will she decide?
WHAT HISTORICAL FICTION DOES BEST
In An Independent Woman, Kate Loveday does what historical fiction does best: letting us, the readers, live another life in a time and place that was. In this novel, that is late-Nineteenth Century Australia, a land just being settled, half civilized, half wild. Into this setting sails Kitty Morland, a determined young woman fleeing loss of social status and a desperate, perhaps criminal act in England. In Australia, she contracts an apparently advantageous marriage that brings her to a mansion amid the remote logging country of Bulahdelah. In that setting, tragically, she learns of the darkness in her once-attractive husband and learns that, even half a world away from England, she cannot escape her past there.
Ms. Loveday's novel has everything for which one could ask in a historical novel: clear, compelling prose; engaging, well-drawn characters who mirror their place and time; and a complex, fast-moving plot involving domestic tragedy, diamonds, the perils of a logging camp and of a gold-mining town, a love banned by the time's laws of marriage, and a crime with results that span years and half a world. All of these elements take place in a vividly realized setting of frontier Australia with frontier Sydney, immense, exotic forests, wild rivers, and the loneliness of pioneer settlements. These make An Independent Woman a novel that will tempt you to read it in a single setting......Alfred D Byrd – American Author
What Goodreads has to say...
An Independent Woman is a wonderful and unique Australian historical romance. There is there is a richness to Kate Loveday’s writing. She may be Australia’s answer to Barbara Taylor Bradford.